New Delhi: Four Central unions of Coal India Ltd (CIL) have rallied against the sale of government stake in the state-owned coal producer and are set to go on a two-day strike from January 8, 2019. The trade unions affiliated to CITU, HMS, AITUC and INTUC represent a majority of the total 2,80,000 employees that Coal India has. Each of these unions has served an individual strike notice to the management.
The demands put forth by the unions are: a minimum wage of Rs 18,000 per month, a pension of at least Rs 3,000 per month, discontinuation of privatisation of PSUs, including CIL, equal salaries and benefits for contract workers and removal of the ceiling for bonus, ESI, provident fund and gratuity. SQ Zama, secretary general at Indian National Mine Workers’ Federation, which is under INTUC, said that even though the strike is a national strike, the trade unions have asked CIL union members to participate in order to make sure that the strike is observed in Coal India as well.
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, which is the trade union wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has, however, decided to stay away from the strike. The strike is estimated to cause a loss of Rs 450 crore in revenue and 3.4 million tonnes of output at a time when 13 power plants are low on stocks of coal.
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